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Gang who targeted ATMs jailed


A gang who trawled the country doing smash and grab ATM burglaries have been jailed for a total of nearly 20 years.

David Owens, 35, Shaun Ennis, 41, and Kevin Caveney, 26, disabled the alarm systems at colleges, service stations, amusement parks and caravan sites before attacking the bank machines to steal the cash inside.

The gang scoured the motorway network looking for targets across the whole of England before pulling off a series of burglaries between January and July of last year.

Owens was jailed for seven years, Ennis received six-and-a-half years and Caveney was handed five years nine months at Preston Crown Court today after admitting a single charge of conspiracy to burgle, police said.

In addition Robin Vaughan, aged 39, was sentenced to 18 months for assisting offenders.

The gang, from Merseyside, were caught after police launched a surveillance operation following five burglaries in West Mercia, Derbyshire, Cleveland, North Yorkshire and Cornwall in early 2011.

On January 9, Pershore College in West Mercia was raided with its ATM machine snatched before raiders fled in a Ford Transit van which was earlier seen in convoy with a Ford Focus registered to David Owens.

On March 30, burglars broke into Topspot service station in Marske, near Redcar in Cleveland and forced open an ATM to steal a quantity of cash.

The following month the restaurant at Flamingo Land in Malton, North Yorkshire was burgled and a large quantity of cash stolen from an ATM that had been forced open with a crowbar.

The previous afternoon, Owens was caught on CCTV with Caveney in the restaurant playing pool.

And on May 21 the St Minver Holiday Park in Wadebridge, Cornwall was burgled by offenders who used hand tools to remove the entire ATM from floor brackets and left in a Vauxhall Insignia.

But a police patrol pursued the Insignia and found it abandoned with the ATM and cash still inside the car.

Enquiries revealed the car had been hired from a rental company in Bootle, Merseyside the day before by Shaun Ennis.

Put under covert surveillance by police, Owens and Caveney were seen on June 16 to drive south down the M6 in a black Audi A3, stopping at various service stations without filling up.

The pair drove into Somerset, then Devon and Cornwall, again visiting motorway services, and occasionally village shops.

All the locations they stopped at had free-standing ATMs.

On July 20, 2011, police officers from Titan, the North West Regional Organised Crime Unit, and Merseyside Police swooped to round up the gang.

A search of Owen's home in Rosewood Close, Stockbridge Village, Liverpool revealed £3,500 in cash, a heavy-duty angle grinder, a five-tonne jack, a large number of cash bags, dust masks and a 2011 British Road Atlas.

From Caveney's home, on Harefield Road in Speke, south Liverpool, officers recovered car hire documents for the Renault Megane used in the Preston College burglary.

And at Ennis's home, from Boode Croft in Stockbridge Village, clothing matching that seen being worn by all three suspects during the operation was found.

In total, detectives believe the four stole a substantial amount of cash from ATMs during eight burglaries between January and July last year, Merseyside Police said.

Detective Inspector Michael Fraser, from the North-West Regional Crime Unit, said: "Today's convictions reflect the persistence of our officers to see that justice is served on offenders who travel the country carrying out crimes.

"The North West Regional Organised Crime Unit works hard with our partners and other forces to detect, prevent and bring offenders prepared to cross borders to commit crimes to justice."